2010 DuMol Russian River Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1107075 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 Chardonnay is alluring in its beauty. Rich, layered and totally expressive, the 2010 caresses the palate with hints of almonds, orange peel, spices, butter and a hint of French oak. The 2010 is endowed with tons of Russian River character, but with no sense of excess heaviness. The vineyard sources are predominantly Lorenzo and Dutton. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2019. Winemaker Andy Smith describes 2009 as a “sweet, forward vintage,” while 2011 is more “dynamic and commercial.” Smith reserves his highest praise for 2010, which he calls his favorite among the three current vintages. In 2011, Smith bulked out 20% of his Pinot Noirs, including the entire production of the Eoin. All the 2011 Pinots came in before the rains. Smith used whole clusters only for the Aidan, as botrytis was an issue in all the other Pinot vineyards. The Charles Heintz Chardonnay came in after the rains. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to taste the 2011 Syrahs, as the final blends had not yet been put together at the time of this tasting. In broad terms, the DuMol Chardonnays are all fermented and aged in barrel, with no lees stirring. Some of the wines are aged in slightly larger 300-liter barrels, and at times the malolactic fermentations are partly blocked, which results in wines that are texturally rich but also full of energy, a combination that is rare and hard to achieve.  (4/ 2013)

91 points Wine Spectator

 This fresh, vibrant, tightly wound and well-focused white offers a vanilla- and smoke-accented beam of spicy green apple, pear and honeydew melon, with a long finish. Drink now through 2019.  (6/ 2013)

90 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Obvious oak leads the way in the nose here and fruit lags a bit as toast and sweet spice take center stage, but the wine's very deep and layered flavors are nicely proportioned and every bit as fruity as they rich in oak. Fairly big-bodied, slightly oily to start and then firm and quite well-balanced, this one hits all the right marks in terms of richness, structure and length. It is thoroughly enjoyable now, but given the choice, we would set it aside for another year or two yet.  (10/ 2012)

K&L Notes

The 2010 DuMol Russian River Valley Chardonnay is a blend of some of the finest sites in the area, including 50% Dutton Ranch, 25% Heintz, 10% DuMOL Estate, 6% Hyde, 6% Lorenzo, and 3% Joy Road. Grapes were hand-harvested and sorted in the vineyard and again at the winery before being gently whole-cluster pressed into 40% new French oak for fermentation and 15 months of further aging. From winemaker Andy Smith: "Light green/yellow color. Wonderful aromatic range: cantaloupe, grapefruit, green apple, cut grass. Richer almond and oatmeal aromas build with air. Intriguing fennel and spearmint edge. Bone dry tightly-coiled palate. White peach, crunchy apple, sweet lime, with a clean saline edge. Broadening texture as it opens in the glass. Taut acidity brings structure and length."

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Price: $54.99

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By: Joel Nicholas |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 7/8/2013  | Send Email
We had the pleasure of tasting the 2011 versions of both of these wines during our visit but they will not be released for several months. Right now we have the 2010s and both wines are drinking beautifully, especially the Chardonnay. It shows perfect balance, with a lovely, bright acidity all the way through.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.